US Attorney Preet Bharara fired after refusing to resign

US President Donald Trump has claimed his predecessor Barack Obama had his phones tapped

The Department of Justice confirmed to the Observer that Bharara was asked to step down and noted it was typical for U.S. Attorneys to change with the presidential administration-which is especially true of the powerful post in the Southern District of NY. "Moments ago I was sacked", Bharara said in the tweet. Bharara enjoyed a particularly powerful perch in the criminal justice system with the Southern District of NY being one of the largest federal prosecutors' offices in the USA with 220 assistant United States attorneys. The statement said, "the Attorney General has now asked the remaining 46 presidentially appointed U.S. Attorneys to tender their resignations in order to ensure a uniform transition".

Bharara's firing had come as a shock since Trump had asked him, shortly after winning the presidential election in November, to stay on in his position.

Though Cummings offered no evidence to corroborate the allegation, journalists and other members of Congress have raised similar questions since the administration asked for the resignations of 46 Obama-era us attorneys on Friday. Not least because Trump has yet to put forward any candidates to fill the posts.

The position of USA attorney is a political appointment made by the president.

After speaking with Hunt, Bharara called the White House back and said the attorney general's office had advised him not to speak directly with the president.

Bharara had served as attorney for the Southern District of NY since 2009.

But Bharara refused to resign, so he was sacked.

Marc Mukasey, the son of former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and a "protege" of former New York Mayor New York Giuliani, emerged as a leading contender this weekend after Trump fired Bharara.

Bharara is well aware of the power of Twitter messaging in these times, and last week the AP reported that he started a new Twitter feed. President Obama let some US attorneys stay on while their replacements got confirmed, although President Bill Clinton got rid of the previous GOP-appointed crop.

It's totally normal for a president to want their own prosecutors.

Bharara, 48, is known as a tough lawyer who made a career of chasing down corruption and crime involving Wall Street.

The Trump administration is cleaning house in the Department of Justice.

In New Jersey, the First Assistant under Fishman is now William Fitzpatrick, who presumably would step in to become acting U.S. Attorney. 46 attorneys were asked to step down.

His dismissal caps a brief but remarkable showdown between a sitting US attorney, the Justice Department and ultimately Trump himself.

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